Sunday April 18 is World Amateur Radio Day (ROOM). This year marks the 96th anniversary of the International Amateur Radio Union (IARU), founded in 1925 International radiotelegraph conference in Paris. ARRL Co-Founder and First President Hiram Percy Maxim, 1AW, was in attendance and today ARRL is the international secretariat of IARU. ARRL has Resources that members can use to celebrate WARD, including graphics for social media posts and radio club websites, as well as a printable flyer.
The IARU has chosen “Amateur Radio: At Home But Never Alone” as the theme for WARD 2021. The theme recognizes that during our physical distance to reduce the spread of COVID-19, Amateur Radio stands out as a welcome respite for its variety of activities and opportunities.
Amateur radio experimenters were the first to discover that HF spectrum was not what wasteland experts at the time considered to be, but a resource that could support global communication. In the rush to use these shorter wavelengths, amateur radio was “in great danger of being sidelined,” the IARU story noted, which prompted the founding of IARU. At the International Radiotelegraph Convention of 1927, amateur radio was granted powers that are still recognized today – 160, 80, 40, 20 and 10 meters. Over the years, the IARU has worked to give all radio amateurs new bands at 136 kHz, 472 kHz, 5 MHz, 10 MHz, 18 MHz, 24 MHz and 50 MHz, and a European regional allocation at 70 MHz, and the IARU defends these allocations.
The 25 countries that formed IARU in 1925 have grown to include over 160 member societies in three regions. IARU Region 1 includes Europe, Africa, the Middle East and North Asia. Region 2 covers the Americas and Region 3 includes Australia, New Zealand, the Pacific island nations, and most of Asia. The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) recognized the IARU as representing the interests of amateur radio.
On World Amateur Radio Day, all radio amateurs are invited to take to the airwaves to share the world’s goodwill with other amateurs. The ARRL encourages its members to promote the value of amateur radio to their family and friends, as well as to their communities. Many ARRL public information officers and volunteer public information coordinators across the United States are using the time leading up to WARDA as an opportunity to contact the media to share information about amateur radio.
“The amateur radio community has a great story to tell on World Amateur Radio Day,” said Bob Inderbitzen, ARRL Product Development Manager, NQ1R. “While the pandemic has kept many of us at home, radio amateurs have always been able to get on the air.” In June 2020, the ARRL Field Day, held annually as the largest amateur radio live operation demonstration and event, brought together nearly 19,000 participants making over 1.8 million radio contacts in one only weekend.
“Over the past year, many ARRL affiliated radio clubs and in-person amateur radio events have moved their group activities online. This has helped keep radio amateurs active and involved in the common pursuit of radio communication and radio technology skills, services and discoveries, ”added Inderbitzen.
Coincidentally, the operation of the SSB of the ARRL Rookie Roundup falls on WARD (1800 – 2359 UTC). The event is aimed at hams licensed for 3 years or less. Take the opportunity to wish participants a “Happy World Amateur Radio Day 2021” on the air.
Some WARD 2021 activities around the world
- Bahrain: The Bahrain Amateur Radio Society will operate A91WARD from April 14-18, 2021, using SSB, FT8 and DMR modes.
- Canada: Radio Amateurs du Canada is sponsoring a “Air on World Amateur Radio Day“special event.
- Germany: The Deutscher Amateur Radio Club operates DA21WARD for WARD, from April 18 to June 30. QSL to DK5ON.
- New Jersey: The Fair Lawn, New Jersey, Amateur Radio Club will operate club station W2NPT on the CW and by telephone throughout April 18. In support of the theme of this year’s event, operators will share information on the Health & Welfare Net as the club operates during the pandemic.
- Alabama: The Disaster Communications Action Team will operate the KD1CAT club station on April 18, in support of WARD. Operation will be done on all HF bands.
- VOIP / ECHOLINK * ROC-HAM * Conference node # 531091 April 18-19, 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 a.m. UTC (9:00 a.m. EDT – 1:00 a.m. EDT) via VOIP / ECHOLINK * ROC-HAM * Conference Node # 531091 / Allstar # 2585. W2JLD, VO1UKZ, GW8SZL and 2W0KYH will be network controllers. All stations around the world are encouraged to register. A QSL card will be available through SASE.